If it was the three wise monkeys then Facebook can now profile humans by what we see, hear and say at any time. The combined meta-data of three massive social media platforms fed into the Facebook AI engines will be a trident into the heart of our privacy the likes the world has never seen before.
The merging of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging will cause a huge security nightmare. After the debacle with Facebook selling data to Cambridge Analytics it’s only a matter of time that the consolidated data from the world’s most popular messaging platforms become the next black gold for Facebook’s growth.
As the Facebook platform becomes less popular and users migrate to faster instant gratifications platforms like Instagram, Zuckerberg will need to find new sources of revenue from his global user base. We all know that Facebook is investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence. Facebook and Instagram log what content you like, so combine that with what you say in WhatsApp and the world of Minority Report is now upon us. Ironically, we’ve created this nightmare by our passion to share everything we do, say or think on these online platforms.
Facebook reassures us that it uses end-2-end encryption that makes it secure from a man in the middle attack but if it can be displayed on screen in a human readable form then it can be profiled and monitored by the app that displays it. The Facebook platform runs over a secure HTTPS connection, but it still allows Facebook to monitor your online behaviour. End-2-End encryption is a great buzz word to help users feel more relaxed to continue typing their confidential thoughts and messages into the platform.
The difference between the huge hacks we hear about where credit cards, passwords and usernames get stolen is that these can all be changed thus limiting the future damage. A sophisticated hack of Facebook owned data would be irreversible. The meta-data of user profiles, thoughts, likes and beliefs could be exposed and unlike a credit card it’s hard to get a new personality. As we’ve seen with Cambridge Analytics this data will be sold to third parties and we must then trust their security procedures as well as Facebook.
All this data sits on a server not controlled by anyone else apart from Facebook. For companies that have employees using these apps they will find their confidential information could be sitting on a server that they have no control or visibility over. By consolidating all this data through one central service the risk of a hack gets increased considerably. Share a confidential document on WhatsApp and it will be easily shareable on Instagram. As 95% of hacks are human error then companies will face fines under GDPR that could dwarf the recent £44m fine to Google by French Authorities.
So next time you use Facebook Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp then maybe you should see no evil, say no evil and hear no evil just in case your data one day ends up in the wrong hands.